Why we do it

The answer is as clear as a sunny afternoon on the trail. See the dozens of joggers, bikers, and children walking with parents—all surrounded in natural beauty. You’ll understand.

Native Plants

naturally good neighbors
Over centuries, native plants evolved together with birds, butterflies and other species to create a balanced, healthy environment.

Alien Invasion!

Not little green men, but little green plants from across the seas—often beautiful, but frequently evil. Many are brought here as decorative ground cover. Sometimes they arrive as hitchhikers.

Monarch Hatchery

Observe, both in the wild or at our children-friendly hatchery, the monarch butterfly growing from egg to caterpillar, caterpillar to chrysalis, and chrysalis to majestic monarch.

Volunteer and Support

We need your help. The Friends of the Green Bay Trail is an entirely volunteer organization. Join us when you can.

Enjoy a beautiful day along the Green Bay Trail, and then send us your best images. Be one of 12 winners (3 winners in each category).

  • Show what wonders you have discovered on the Green Bay Trail. Any photograph taken this year is eligible for you to enter in the contest
  • Submit photos from August 1 until October 31, 2022.
  • Use any camera. Phones take fabulous pictures.
  • Choose favorite subjects in any or all of these categories:
    • Butterflies and Other Insects
    • Flowers and Plants
    • Trail Activities
    • Furry and Feathered Friends
  • Prizes will be given for best 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place pictures in each category.
  • Ask friends and family to pick their favorite photos when voting opens on November 1, 2022.

Winners will be voted upon from November 1st through the 15th. Participants, their friends and family and all the loyal Friends of the Green Bay Trail can vote. Encourage everyone you know to view the photos and vote! ALL WINNERS WILL BE REQUIRED TO SEND US AN ORIGINAL HIGH RESOLUTION IMAGE UPON REQUEST (see contest Information and Rules).

A Trail for all Seasons

Upcoming Events

Sat 13
Sat 27
Sep 10
Sep 24

Fun Facts – Did you know?

Vegan Diet

Sugar alone cannot sustain a Monarch. They also need a little spice in the form of minerals. They supplement their nectar diet by occasionally sipping from mud puddles, which are rich in minerals and salt.

Speedy Coyote

Coyotes don’t believe the Glencoe speed laws apply to them. They can run as fast as 40 miles per hour and jump as high as 13 feet.

Witch Hazel

Witch Hazel can be seen on the Green Bay Trail in Glencoe. Its branches were once used to search and find underground sources of water and minerals.

Volunteers Make it Happen

Volunteers are the foundation of the Green Bay Trail’s restoration. In 2021 volunteers gave more than a thousand hours of their time engaged in trail restoration, community programming and outreach.

The Trail’s restoration, stewardship and programming needs vary seasonally and offer diverse volunteer opportunities year-round, on and off the trail. Last year’s volunteers…

  • Assisted at 17 Trail Work Days, 5 Seed cleaning days;
  • Removed invasive weeds and plants to prevent their spread;
  • Hand watered young plants and trees until roots were established;
  • Restored pathways with wood chips and mulched trees;
  • Performed soil restoration and planted native plants to enhance the trail’s wildlife habitat;
  • Monitored and released monarch butterflies from the trail’s butterfly hatchery;

With spring’s arrival, volunteers return to the trail to remove winter’s debris, mulch paths, prepare the site for migrating birds and emerging blooms. The Rest & Restore site at Mary Street offers an elevated view of trail from its recently installed wooden benches and seats made from fallen trees. Join the Friends at one of its Trail Work days, listed under Events and Programs .

Many thanks to our volunteers and supporters! It is only with their generous support and time commitment that the Trail has become a valuable recreational resource, a supportive wildlife habitat and a trail for all seasons.

Views from the Trail Videos

We are pleased to showcase two videos in the Gallery – “A Summer’s Day on the Trail” and “Scenes from the Trail.”

What we do


We are environmental stewards of the Green Bay Trail, restoring a natural,  prairie eco-system. Our goal is to make the trail a national example of the healthy intersection of nature and culture that inspires community and individual well-being. LEARN MORE

Native Keystone Plants for Wildlife

Garden for Wildlife

About Native Plants

From the Field Museum

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